Where to start?? I have been pretty busy these past couple of months or has it only been a month, I'm not sure.
Since the last update I believe I've raced a PRO XCT in Fontana, the Continental Championships in Bogota, Colombia, an AZ crit, Sea Otter PRO XCT and just the other day World Cup #1 in South Africa. And just like that, the season is underway.
The year started out as I planned with Bonelli going about how I though for my first race, I was even a little better then expected. I thought my trajectory would be straight up but I stumbled a bit in Fontana and Colombia. I usually have great form for Fontana but I think my trip up to altitude to get ready for Bogota slowed it down a bit in Fontana. It was also not quite enough altitude for Colombia, close but no cigar. Think I figured some things out though about my altitude adaptation though.
I seemed to get it right by going back down to my new training base in Tucson for the 2 weeks leading up to Sea Otter. Getting back to sea levelish(2,500 ft) was what I needed to get my power up and recover from my work outs.
I was really good at Sea Otter, with Max being too strong on Saturday for me in the STXC but finally getting the "W" in the XC which has eluded me for so many years. I am still really enjoying that victory. I was off to SA straight from Sea Otter for the first WC. With two, 10 plus hour flights and a domestic flight, 9 hour time change and hemisphere change it was a crap shoot how I was going to react arriving only 4 days before the event. Sometimes everything comes together, this was one of those few treasured times. I slept almost the whole flight from San Fran to Frankfurt thanks to my upgrade, had a shower and some food in Frankfurt during my couple hour lay over and nailed an exit row from Frankfurt to Johansaburg on SAA which never happens. My only hiccup was lost luggage but since I'm on the best team in the World I had bikes to ride anyway. I managed to sleep awesome from the start and my sluggish feeling was gone by Friday, one day before the race.
The World Cup has been my focus for the past few years. It doesn't always work out but those are the races I think about all the time and try my best to be 100% for. Last year I had an amazing year domestically but really lacked international results. You get way more recognition for winning a race in the US like a PRO XCT but as a rider a lesser result on the biggest stage for our sport is way more important.
I came into the race this weekend hoping for a podium, shooting for a top 10 and expecting a top 20. The level is so high on the WC circuit if you're off 1%, that's a whole lot of places. I knew as soon as we took off down the start straight it was going to be a good day. By the top of the first climb I was inside the top 15 and by the end of the first lap I was almost top 10. Midway into the race I had climbed into the group for 6-8 with Hermida and Fontana insight for 4-5. I never reached those guys and eventually faded back to 11th before passing Burry who had a big crash in the rock garden for 10th. I can't tell you how overjoyed I am. Sure I want and think I can do better but to set goals and achieve them is an amazing feeling. The World Cup is the highest level of our sport and to get a result there is just confirmation of all the hard work.
I'm off to get on a flight but here are a few pics from the weekend.
Did I mention we won the Team competition this weekend in the World Cup and got to stand on the podium, just another highlight.
And here is a low light, the Dart takes the road less traveled through the rock garden. Good thing he's flex able.
I wonder what Winstons' doing right now....